York U shows off its undergraduate researchers

Thirty-six students – shortlisted from approximately 100 applicants – presented their research projects to nearly 300 community members at York’s inaugural Undergraduate Research Fair on Feb. 27, in the Scott Library Collaboratory.

The three dozen participants from the Faculties of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS), Environmental Studies, Fine Arts and Glendon presented posters on a range of research topics to the several hundred faculty, staff, students and family members that were in attendance. The breadth of project titles included: Defining the Self Through Lobster Eating; Bad Medicine: The TB Epidemic in Canadian First Nations and Inuit; Ending Sex Trafficking in the European Union; and Exploring Food Discourse & the Social Implications just to name a few.

“The scope of submissions was extraordinary and so was the passion and commitment of the students,” said Catherine Davidson, associate librarian and fair steering committee member. “For me, hearing the students speak about their work and also about how much they appreciated the opportunity to share the outcome of their research with the broader community was the highlight of the fair.”

During the ceremony, Robert Haché vice-president research & innovation, thanked all the applicants for demonstrating that research at York is accessible and that undergraduate students are a valuable part of the University’s research culture.

“Here at York, we value the work of all of our student researchers.  As a comprehensive, research intensive institution, York is committed to the exposure of all of our students to cutting edge research and scholarship and to making research accessible for them,” said Haché. “York is a globally recognized centre for research and a leader in the creation and transfer of knowledge.”

LA&PS Dean Martin Singer and faculty members and steering committee members Kevin Reynolds and Tara LaRose, presented the awards and honourable mentions for best lower-year project and poster (for a first- or second-year course), best upper-year project and poster (for a third- or fourth-year course) and best poster presentation. Sophie Bury, head of the Bronfman Business Library, also presented the Information Literacy award and honourable mention.

The high calibre presentations and research output from the fair participants made it incredibly difficult for the Steering Committee to select the following eight award winners.

  • Jeremy Bonham, The Relationship Between the Huron-Wendat and Jesuits: Spiritual Success?, honourable mention for best lower-year research project and poster.
  • Alexander Gage, Something in the Water: The American Acid Endemic, awarded best lower-year research project and poster.
  • Kevin Hurley, New Production in Old Spaces: De-Industrialization and the Rise of the Micro-Enterprise Economy in Toronto’s Junction Triangle, honourable mention for best upper-year project and poster.
  • Nicole Percival, Road Kill at the Leslie Street Spit: Assessing the Road Mortality Patterns in Toronto’s Urban Wilderness, awarded best upper-year project and poster.
  • Maia Miller, Defining the Self Through Lobster Eating, honourable mention for best poster presentation
  • Jonathon Kitchen, Towers of Power: An Analysis of Toronto’s Central Business District, awarded best poster presentation.
  • Daniela Mastrocola, Whose Streets? Representations of the 2010 G20 Protests in the Toronto Star, honourable mention for the Information Literacy award.
  • Emily Chicorli, Victorians Abroad: Travellers, Tourists, Adventurers, awarded the Information Literacy award.

Event co-sponsors York University Libraries and the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation are planning to expand the fair in 2014 to encompass all Faculties.

Pictures of the Undergraduate Research Fair.